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Chapter 9: The Trap Is Set

Chapter 9: The Trap Is Set

Student of Trinity looked around the SubTerra Forum. It was almost entirely covered in a layer of spam. "Wow, Rakshasi, you sure were busy."

"Yeah, I know," Rakshasi said as he led Ephesos over to the corner where he had discovered Zephyr Tempest's body.

Ephesos shook his head. "This stuff is incredibly flammable. The whole forum could go up in flames with just a spark."

"That was kind of the point," Rakshasi said.

"Ah, spam. It hides all the useful and important posts, just as the veneer of illusions we set around ourselves when we are with others hides our inner selves," Synergy said.

Ephesos knelt by Zephyr Tempest and carefully poured the balm of life potion over him. Then Ephesos closed his eyes and began to mutter an incantation. Finally, there was a flash of white light. Zephyr Tempest opened his eyes.

"Ephesos? What happened?" he asked.

"That's what I was going to ask you. But first, how do you feel?" Ephesos asked.

"I'm fine now, I suppose. But being dead was unimaginably horrific. For the first time in my life, I was cold. There were snakes everywhere, and hordes of noobs, and strange creatures like SnowPuffs and skritts." Zephyr Tempest shuddered.

"That sounds like Homeland. How did you die?" Rakshasi asked.

"It probably was. I was helping Dintiradan, Wanderer, and the Lurker with a summoning machine. I thought they were making it so there didn't always have to be a mage to summon elements, but then Dintiradan pulled out a copy of Homeland. I tried to stop them, but they killed me."

"An Evil Overlord, a summoning machine, and Homeland? This doesn't bode well," Student of Trinity said.

"Right. We need to stop them immediately." Ephesos led the group back to the Richard White Games Forum.

Zorro stared at Galactic Core despondently. "I lost. I can't believe I lost. I thought I had Ischi beat, but he called upon the power of the White One and beat me."

"Alorael," Ephesos said.

"What?" Alorael said.

"Dintiradan is up to no good. We have to stop him any way we can," Ephesos said.

Alorael grabbed his sniper rifle and ran from the forum. "Dibs!" he yelled.

Zephyr Tempest followed. "Hey, wait! I'm the one they murdered, I should be the one to take them out!"

"Isn't that a little harsh?" Synergy asked.

"Not for messing with Homeland it isn't," Rakshasi said.


Alorael and Zephyr Tempest jogged through the Avernum Trilogy Forum. The others followed a short distance behind.

Zephyr Tempest wiped sweat off his forehead. "Whew! It's hot in here!"

Compared to the other forums, this was true. The Avernum Trilogy Forum was warmed by geothermic vents, which had the unfortunate side effect of occasional lava flows and making the whole forum smell of sulfur.

Alorael halted at the base of a small hill. "You wait here, I'll look around." He climbed to the top of the hill and carefully scanned the forum. Nothing.

Then a figure entered the forum, chased by several giant rats. Alorael quickly got into sniping position. Soon, all the rats had been sniped. The figure approached. It was Smoo.

"Thank you! I don't think I could have outrun the rats much longer!"

"What happened, Smoo?" Zephyr Tempest asked.

Smoo looked nervous. "I accidentally ended up summoning rats from a strange summoning machine. I tried to disable it, and almost succeeded, but there were too many rats. But I bet there are enough of us that we could disable it. At least, we have to try. Otherwise there will be too many rats for anyone to deal with!"

"A plague of rats? Oh well. At least it's better than anything from Homeland," Rakshasi said.

Synergy glanced at Smoo suspiciously. "Does anyone think there is anything odd about this?"

Everyone thought for a moment.

"Dikiyoba doesn't think so. Why?" Dikiyoba said.

"Oh, never mind. Lead the way, Smoo," Synergy said.

No one noticed that a red rat had observed the whole scene. Now it ran off towards the Blades of Avernum Forum.


The white rat stood on a large boulder in the mountains, directing all the other rats. Four blue rats were moving the summoning machine to a different and safer location. "Be very careful with that! It is our key to victory! Without it, there will be no more reinforcements! With it, we shall overwhelm the humans and rule the world!"

The red rat ran up to the white rat. "Vengeance Made Flesh!"

"Yes?" the white rat asked.

"The wererat has made contact with eight humans. They will be here soon."

"Excellent! Prepare for the ambush! Blue rats, you will be the first line of attack. Green rats, you will stay hidden in the rocks and fire curse rays down on the humans. Red rats, you will run around the fight and gather on the path behind them so that they can't escape. Mung rats and giant rats, just fill in wherever you are needed."

"Plague of Humans!" a giant rat said, "What do you want us to do with this human?" The giant rat pointed to the real Smoo, unconscious and tied up.

"You three, move him somewhere where he won't be found. And guard him closely so he can't escape. I'll be along shortly to question him."

"Of course, One of Many." The three giant rats dragged Smoo off.

The white rat turned to a gigantic wererat beside it. "You will be in charge of the ambush. Now, I must be off! Remember, show no mercy! Do not retreat! We will wipe these humans out and create a haven for rats everywhere! We will never again have to fear cats, dogs, traps, poison, or lab experiments!"

The rats emitted a very squeaky cheer in approval.